Top 12 Best Catholic Universities in Rome

Best Catholic Universities in Rome

Rome, famously known as “The Eternal City” has long been a hub of Catholic education, with a rich history of universities that have shaped the intellectual, moral, and spiritual development of countless individuals. 

Today, there are many Catholic universities in Rome, each offering a unique blend of academic rigor, spiritual formation, and engagement with the wider world. Some of these institutions have been around for centuries, and are not only renowned for their academic excellence but also for their profound commitment to Catholic values and traditions.

In this article, we will embark on a journey to uncover the top 12 Catholic universities in Rome, highlighting their distinctive strengths, academic offerings, and contributions to the global Catholic community.

Whether you are a prospective student, a parent seeking the best educational opportunities for your child, or simply someone interested in the rich tapestry of Catholic education, this guide will provide you with valuable insights into these venerable institutions, each deserving of its place on our list of the Top 12 Best Catholic Universities in Rome.

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Best Catholic Universities in Rome

The top 12 best Catholic Universities in Rome include:

1. Pontifical Gregorian University

Pontifical Gregorian University

Address: Piazza della Pilotta, 4, 00187 Roma RM, Italy

The Pontifical Gregorian University, also known as the Gregorian or Gregoriana, is one of the oldest renowned Catholic universities in Rome, Italy. Founded in 1551 by Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the university has a rich history of academic excellence and a strong commitment to Catholic values. 

The Gregorian University offers a wide range of undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs in a variety of disciplines. The university is also home to several specialized research institutes and centers, which contribute to its reputation as a leading center of Catholic scholarship.

With a diverse student body from over 120 countries, the Gregorian University provides a truly global learning environment. The university’s campus is located in the heart of Rome, just steps away from St. Peter’s Square, offering students a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the city’s rich history and culture.

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2. Pontifical Lateran University

Address: P.za. San Giovanni In Laterano, 4, 00184 Roma RM, Italy

The Pontifical Lateran University, known as the Pontificia Università Lateranense in Italian, holds a unique and revered place in the realm of Catholic education. 

Established by Pope Leo XIII in 1891, this institution is one of the best Catholic universities in Rome, renowned for its focus on theology, philosophy, and canon law.

The Pontifical Lateran University offers a distinctive combination of rigorous academic programs and a spiritually enriching environment, fostering the growth of future clergy, theologians, and scholars.

The university’s rich historical heritage, strong academic reputation, and emphasis on religious studies make it a prominent option for individuals who wish to explore the intersection of faith, philosophy, and law within the Catholic tradition.

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3. Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum)

Address: Largo Angelicum, 1, 00184 Roma RM, Italy

The Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, colloquially referred to as the Angelicum, is a renowned institution in the world of Catholic education. Founded in 1222 by St. Dominic, the Angelicum is one of the oldest and most prestigious Catholic universities in Rome, that offers a comprehensive range of programs in theology, philosophy, and canon law.

The university has a long history of producing notable theologians and scholars, making it a magnet for students seeking to explore the depths of Catholic theology.

The Angelicum is known for its outstanding faculty, a rich library of theological texts, and a vibrant international student community. Students are encouraged to delve into the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas and other theological giants while engaging in rigorous academic and spiritual development.

4. Pontifical University of the Holy Cross

Pontifical University of the Holy Cross

Address: Piazza di Sant’Apollinare, 49, 00186 Roma RM, Italy

The Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, or the Pontificia Università della Santa Croce in Italian, stands as one of the most prestigious Catholic universities in Rome. Established in 1984 by St. John Paul II, this university holds a distinct position in the realm of canon law, theology, and other ecclesiastical disciplines.

The Pontifical University of the Holy Cross is deeply rooted in the Catholic tradition, with a strong emphasis on spiritual formation and intellectual development.

With a diverse and international student body, the university encourages a holistic approach to education, promoting the harmonious integration of faith, reason, and culture. It provides students with opportunities to engage in meaningful dialogue, theological research, and personal growth.

5. Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum

Address: Via degli Aldobrandeschi, 190, 00163 Roma RM, Italy

The Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum is one of the leading Catholic universities in Rome, known for its strong commitment to academic excellence, theology, and philosophy.

Founded in 1993 by the Legionaries of Christ, the university is deeply rooted in the Catholic tradition, with a strong emphasis on spiritual formation and intellectual development. 

UPRA is dedicated to providing a high-quality education in various disciplines, with a particular emphasis on theology, philosophy, and humanities.

The university is celebrated for its rigorous academic programs, a distinguished faculty, and a vibrant student community. It places a strong emphasis on the harmonious integration of faith, reason, and culture.

Students at the Athenaeum are encouraged to explore theological questions and engage in meaningful discussions, all within a spiritually enriching environment.

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6. Pontifical Urban University

Address: Via Urbano VIII, 16, 00165 Roma RM, Italy

The Pontifical Urban University, also known as the Urbaniana, is a significant institution of higher education within the Catholic Church. Established in 1627 by Pope Urban VIII, it holds a unique place in the world of Catholic education, particularly in the areas of missiology, theology, and social sciences.

The university is dedicated to training priests, religious brothers and sisters, and lay people for service as missionaries. The Pontifical Urban University is deeply rooted in the Catholic tradition, with a strong emphasis on spiritual formation and intercultural understanding.

The Pontifical Urban University’s academic programs are complemented by its spiritual formation and a strong emphasis on the practical aspects of serving the Church.

Students have access to a rich theological library, and they benefit from the university’s location in the heart of the city, providing them with the opportunity to engage with various cultures and faiths.

7. Pontifical University Antonianum

Address: Via Merulana, 124, 00185 Roma RM, Italy

The Pontifical University Antonianum, also known as the Antonianum or the Pontificia Università Antonianum, is one of the renowned Catholic universities in Rome, Italy. 

Founded in 1887 by Bernardino del Vago da Portogruaro, the then Minister General of the Order of Friars Minor, the university is dedicated to providing a high-quality education in various disciplines, with a particular emphasis on Franciscan studies, theology, philosophy, and canon law.

The Pontifical University Antonianum is deeply rooted in the Franciscan tradition, with a strong emphasis on spiritual formation, intellectual development, and social justice. The university’s programs emphasize a deep understanding of the Catholic faith while fostering an environment of academic excellence and spiritual growth.

The Pontifical University Antonianum is known for its accomplished faculty, theological library, and a strong sense of Franciscan identity. Students have the opportunity to delve into the rich Franciscan heritage and engage in academic pursuits while nurturing their spiritual lives.

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8. Catholic University of the Sacred Heart

Catholic University of the Sacred Heart

Address: Largo Agostino Gemelli, 1, 20123 Milano MI, Italy

The Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, or Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Italian, is a renowned Catholic institution of higher learning with a rich history of academic excellence and commitment to Catholic values. Founded in 1921 by Agostino Gemelli, it is one of the largest and most respected Catholic universities in Rome.

With multiple campuses throughout Italy, including a prominent presence in Rome, the university offers a wide range of academic programs, including theology, philosophy, and humanities, all underpinned by the Catholic intellectual tradition.

The Catholic University of the Sacred Heart is celebrated for its diverse student body, a commitment to academic rigor, and a broad spectrum of academic disciplines.

The school combines a strong emphasis on research and scholarship with a foundation in Catholic ethics and values, fostering an environment where students can explore various fields of study in the light of faith.

9. Università LUMSA

Address: Borgo S. Angelo, 13, 00193 Roma RM, Italy

Università LUMSA, or Libera Università Maria Santissima Assunta in Italian, is one of the prominent Catholic universities in Rome that is known for its commitment to Catholic values and academic excellence. 

Founded in 1939, the school provides a wide range of academic programs, encompassing theology, philosophy, law, social sciences, and humanities. Its diverse offerings reflect the university’s mission to provide a comprehensive education.

Università LUMSA is recognized for its esteemed faculty, research programs, and a strong focus on ethics and social justice. The university emphasizes not only academic excellence but also personal and social development, instilling Catholic values in its students.

10. Salesian Pontifical University

Address: Piazza dell’Ateneo Salesiano, 1, 00139 Roma RM, Italy

Founded in 1940 by the Salesians of Don Bosco, Salesian Pontifical University is one of the best Catholic universities in Rome that is dedicated to providing a high-quality education in various disciplines, with a particular emphasis on education, theology, philosophy, and social communication.

Located in the vibrant city of Rome, the Salesian Pontifical University offers a range of programs, including theology, philosophy, and educational sciences.

The school’s central mission revolves around the education and formation of youth, with a strong emphasis on practical experience and community engagement.

The Salesian Pontifical University is one of the best Catholic universities in Rome, known for its extensive network of institutions and a global presence, reflecting the Salesian tradition of caring for young people.

11. Pontifical Oriental Institute

Address: P.za di Santa Maria Maggiore, 7, 00185 Roma RM, Italy

The Pontifical Oriental Institute, or the Pontificio Istituto Orientale in Italian, is one of the prestigious Catholic universities in Rome that specializes in the study of Eastern Christianity, Eastern theology, and the Eastern liturgical and canonical traditions.

Founded in 1917 by Pope Benedict XV, the school has a distinguished history of promoting knowledge and understanding of the Christian traditions of the Eastern Churches.

Situated in the heart of Rome, the institute’s location is central to its mission of fostering intercultural and intereclesial dialogue. It offers a wide range of academic programs, including theology, liturgy, history, languages, and canon law, all with a specific focus on Eastern Christianity.

For those who are passionate about understanding the complexities of Eastern Christianity and its historical and contemporary significance, the Pontifical Oriental Institute provides a unique and comprehensive academic experience.

12. The Catholic University of America – Rome Center

The Catholic University of America

Address: Via Garibaldi, 28, 00153 Roma RM, Italy

The last school on our list of the best Catholic universities in Rome is the Catholic University of America in Rome. The Catholic University of America (CUA), based in Washington, D.C., has a distinguished presence in Rome through its Rome Center.

The school was founded early in 1979, and the CUA Rome Center is an international branch that offers students a unique opportunity to study in the heart of the Eternal City.

The Rome Center provides a range of academic programs and courses, allowing students to explore various subjects while benefiting from the cultural, historical, and religious richness of Rome. 

The Rome Center is situated on the Gianicolo Hill in Rome, just steps away from the Vatican City. The campus consists of a six-story building surrounded by a 19th-century garden. The building has 24,000 square feet of usable interior space and 4,500 square feet of outside terrace. A chapel is part of the building, as well as a large industrial kitchen.

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FAQs

Where do priests study in Rome?

To ensure comprehensive coverage of information, it’s important to note that the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy in Rome is responsible for the training of priests 

What is the biggest Catholic university?

The biggest Catholic university is Georgetown University with over 20,935 enrolments.

Where can I study theology in Rome?

There are several Catholic universities in Rome where you can study theology. These schools includes:

  • Pontifical Gregorian University
  • Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum)
  • Pontifical Lateran University
  • University of Rome Tor Vergata
  • Pontifical University of the Holy Cross

Is there a university in the Vatican?

Yes, there are several universities in the Vatican like;

  • Pontifical Lateran University
  • Pontifical North American C…
  • Pontificio Istituto Teologico…
  • DolceVita Institute of Technology

What are Roman Catholic priests called?

The most prestigious title in the Catholic Church, “Pope,” finds its origins in those early titles. In recent times, members of several religious orders began to be addressed as “father.” This tradition has endured through to the present day, with priests commonly referred to as “father.”

Conclusion

In the heart of Rome, where history, faith, and academia converge, these top 12 Catholic universities have demonstrated their unwavering commitment to knowledge, spiritual growth, and service to the Catholic Church.

From the venerable halls of the Pontifical Gregorian University, founded by St. Ignatius of Loyola, to the Salesian Pontifical University, dedicated to the teachings of St. John Bosco, these universities have played vital roles in shaping the minds and spirits of countless scholars and clergy throughout the centuries.

Whether you seek to deepen your understanding of Catholic theology, philosophy, or various other fields, these institutions offer a path where faith and scholarship intersect harmoniously.

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